Nintendo Direct Aftermath

A Nintendo Direct week is always an exciting one, but this has to be one of the most explosive we have had for a long time – The long awaited return of the original Metroid Prime was not only announced but released on the same day, Pikmin 4 got a new trailer and release date, dormant yet beloved franchises Ghost Trick and Samba De Amigo decided to rise from the dead and… Well, if you don’t know all of the huge stories, you should check out our highlights!

But what came after? Well, plenty it seems! The days that followed have blessed us with even more information about games featured in the Direct, so let’s dive right in.

More Characters will return to Mario Kart 8

The reveal of Birdo was a magical one, not only because she is an angelic, egg-blowing icon but also because it opened the possibilities of more new characters, as stated from Nintendo’s own egg hole:

"Returning characters from the Mario Kart series will be added in future waves."

While that may have seemed like an obvious conclusion following the Birdo announcement, this is Nintendo we are talking about, and their decisions rarely make sense - Randomly releasing Birdo five years after the last new character and eight years after the games initial release, to then never reveal another new racer, is exactly the kind of thing Nintendo would do. So it’s nice to have confirmation that this isn’t a one off.

So who can we expect? Given that content for the Expansion Pass has largely originated from Mario Kart Tour, any number of characters from that title could be up for a promotion to the prestigious ranks of Mario Kart 8.

Pauline, DK Jr, Dr. Mario, Funky Kong and Dixie Kong are just a few of the characters in Tour that have yet to grace Nintendo’s flagship anti-gravity racer.

Tears of the Kingdom is the biggest Switch exclusive yet.

Literally! The latest Zelda entry will be 18.2 GB in size, making it the biggest first party offering from Nintendo. This is especially interesting as Nintendo are masters of compression.

For comparison, Breath of the Wild was 13.4 GB which is already a massive jump from many of their titles, with the likes of Super Mario 3D World coming in at just under 2 GB and Mario Odyssey at 5.7 GB.

Perhaps their compression wizardry comes from a place of necessity due to their past consoles, as only Wii U discs ever offered them videogame storage space on par with the competition. The N64 had its obvious limitations, the GameCube had around 1.3 GB capacity in its tiny mini-discs compared to the competitions 4 GB, and the Wii had DVD’s while others adopted for the 4x bigger Blu-rays.

Well history has repeated itself, and the Switch once again burdens Nintendo with limited storage space, so Nintendo’s past passion for compression will come in handy.

Nintendo Switch game cards come in sizes of 8, 16 and 32 GB, with larger cards resulting in a bigger cost for the publisher, which is why retail titles such as the Spyro Reignited Trilogy and Crash Team Racing require a large additional download to be playable, as publishers simply opt for the smallest size Switch cards despite the size of the actual game.  

Thankfully, the entirety of Tears of the Kingdom will come on the Nintendo Switch game card, with no additional internet downloads required to play the game, but this does mean Nintendo have splashed the cash and opted for the rarely used, larger 32 GB Nintendo Switch game card. This could perhaps be part of the reason that Tears of the Kingdom will be more expensive in the US than typical Switch titles, coming in at $69.99 instead of the usual $59.99.

Over here in the UK, we already had the honour of paying extra for the original BOTW, and will once again be blessed with a higher price tag for this entry, with an RRP of £59.99.

Baten Kaitos I & II Remaster won’t have an English dub

A beloved duo of GameCube RPG’s are set to return to the Nintendo Switch. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean will be joined by Baten Kaitos Origins in this Switch double pack, the latter of which never made it to UK shores.

Both games will only have their Japanese dub, this is largely because the English dub for Eternal Wings was criticised heavily for its audio quality, and Namco don’t seem to want to go to the hassle or re-recording the whole game. While Origins had a much better English dub, that will also be omitted from this release.

We also have some technical details for this RPG duo – They will both have a resolution of 1080p, the top end of Nintendo Switch capabilities, and will run at 30fps. The double download will come in at around 8 GB.

Baten Kaitos will release this Summer, just in time to hide yourself away from the sun and instead immerse yourself in a deck of cards.

Metroid Prime Remastered praised for accessibility options

Retro Studios have risen from the ashes like a phoenix, or a slightly charred Donkey Kong rising from a volcano. In their first release since Tropical Freeze, not only have they impressed gamers with the incredibly high graphical detail they’ve squeezed out of the Switch, they’ve also gained attention for their variety of options.

Metroid Prime Remastered boasts 4 different control schemes, all of which have optional motion aiming. HUD display options, aiming sensitivity and colourblind options also litter the expansive options menu, making a nice change for a first party Nintendo game, which aren’t always known for offering a big variety of customisable options to the end user.

These accessibility options would be more than welcome in a variety of other first party releases from Nintendo, so perhaps this is something we can hope to see more of in the coming years.

...And that about sums up the last morsels of news in the wake of this weeks Nintendo Direct! Perhaps Nintendo will calm down with the relentless reveals now, and let us actually play some of these newly announced and released titles?! If you need me, I’ll be on WarioWare on the NSO GBA app.

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